Castlemont Elementary School

District News

Updated Fri, Apr 2nd

Changes to public health restrictions will allow our schools to increase in-person instructional time starting Monday, May 3rd, according to an update from Superintendent Viramontez at the April 1 Governing Board meeting. Please see the attached slides from the Board presentation for details.

For more information:

Watch the Superintendent's Beackyard Briefing.

See the slides from the Board presentation.

Visit our COVID-19 Resources Web page.

NOTE: There will be a meeting on April 14th for the "not ready" families who indicated that their students may be ready to return to campus after Spring Break. The district will email a link to that virtual meeting on April 12th.

Updated Fri, Apr 2nd

When defined, spring and "springtime" refer to the season and to ideas of rejuvenation, renewal, and regrowth. 

Our scheduled Spring Break can also be a time for students, families and staff to recharge and renew, as our schools and offices will be closed April 5 through 9. We look forward to seeing everyone—online or in class—when school resumes on Monday April 12.

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

This was an exciting week for several reasons, not least of which was beginning to bring students back to campus for some in-person instruction. 

It was such a delight to see the joy from the students and staff at finally seeing each other in 3D. One parent shared with her son’s kindergarten teacher that she was like a Disney princess; the students had only seen her on screen and were so excited to finally meet her in person.  

teacher in class with studentsOur middle school sixth graders also came to campus for in-person instruction and the chance to see friends in real life. We look forward to next week as we bring more  grade levels back to campus.  

More welcome news arrived this past weekend when it was announced that distancing between students in the classroom can be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. The updated California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance says: “maintaining a minimum of 3 feet between student chairs is strongly recommended.”  There is still a requirement to maintain 6 feet of distance between students when they are eating, and staff still need to have their desks 6 feet from students’ desks. This change means we can begin planning for how we can have more on-campus instruction for our students. All CDPH health and safety precautions, such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and hand washing, will remain.

chart of COVID19 casesOn March 24, our county moved into the Orange Tier, providing more evidence that our positive COVID-19 cases are trending positively. In a meeting with Santa Clara County Public Health officials on Tuesday, I learned that our current adjusted case count is 2.8 per 100,000. 

Vaccinations are increasing and, I am pleased to announce that, by the end of next week, all of our staff will have had the opportunity to have both doses of the vaccine.  

The natural question now: what’s next?

We said that we would wait until we had fully implemented Phase 2 of our reopening plan before moving to a new phase. We will have completed that gradual phase-in on April 16.  

We have heard from many in our community that the hybrid schedule is challenging to families and staff. Over these next couple of weeks, we will be working with our school leaders and our reopening committee to determine a timeline to transition to the next phase. We will ensure that we have all of the logistics to support increased instructional time on campus for our students and, as promised, we will provide at least 14 days’ notice before transitioning to a new phase.  

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

Starting Monday, March 22nd, when the first students return to the classroom for Phase 2 of our reopening, there will be a few modifications to the no-charge meals from our Child Nutrition Department staff. (Parents and guardians were sent a detailed notice by email on Wed., March 17th.)

Here is a brief overview of the free meal distribution plan that starts March 22nd:

  • Elementary students will have pre-packaged meals delivered to their classrooms just before the end of their school day.  They will receive one grab-and-go lunch and one packaged breakfast to carry out with them at dismissal.
  • Middle school students will pick up their individual grab-and-go lunch and breakfast package at a meal station as they leave campus for the day.
  • Drive-through meals for the community will be available on Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at seven locations. Also, two of the schools will have additional distribution days and different hours during the week.

NOTE: Meal service will be closed during Spring Break, April 5-9. We will provide a 5-day meal pick-up on Friday, April 2nd, at designated locations.

Please see the letter (English and Spanish) from Child Nutrition for details.

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

Campbell Union School District is providing a new wireless network through a first-in-the-State pilot project that uses the recently licensed Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum. The project provides a model for the future, as solutions for connectivity extends beyond remote learning.

“This project will help us overcome the lack of connectivity in our area, an existing gap that suddenly became a huge issue for many of our students when we moved to distance learning last spring,” said Dr. Shelly Viramontez, Superintendent of CUSD.

Remote learning during the pandemic highlighted the inequity of internet access in the community and prompted District staff to seek solutions. The release of the CBRS spectrum provided the right opportunity.


CUSD Technology staff install wiring
to Rosemary School building.

The District partnered with Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara County Office of Education to build a fixed wireless system, using CBRS to create a private and secure network to connect students at home. Some funding for equipment and support with negotiating prices were provided jointly by the County of Santa Clara, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and a donation from Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital. 

“Remote learning during the pandemic put a spotlight on the stark inequity of internet access. It became clear early on that we needed to provide support to all of these students who were suddenly learning from home and yet did not have adequate tools,” said County Supervisor Ellenberg. “I worked with various partners, including Joint Venture and the Santa Clara County Office of Education to find the gaps and begin the process of building the necessary infrastructure to address the digital divide during the pandemic.”

“We’re excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Trevor Walker, CUSD Director of Technology. “We were willing to be the first to install and implement because it provides a long-term, cost-effective solution that helps us close the digital divide in a historically under-connected neighborhood. We appreciate the additional support that our partners are providing to make it happen.

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness will bring you a richer, more full-filling life and is crucial to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.

Join us for a week of learning focused on mental, physical and social wellbeing.

  • Learn about different practices to help with managing stress and anxiety.
  • Develop practical strategies to implement in your daily routine.
  • Gain tools to support your personal wellness goals.

Session information is being added to our webpage daily. Check often for updates!

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

I am happy to report that our county is officially in the less-restrictive Red (Substantial) Tier.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Sarah Cody, announced yesterday that the county has met the agreed-upon metric to move us to Phase 2 of our School Reopening Plan. Starting March 22nd, we will begin bringing cohorts of students back to school for in-person instruction. We will begin with elementary students in grades Tk-2nd and middle school 6th graders and expand from there, as indicated in our reopening plan.

We’re excited, and we’re ready! 

After months of planning, preparing, advocating, adjusting to changes in official guidelines and mandates, we can finally begin our planned return to in-person learning. From the beginning, our plan and State law have been focused on safely returning students to campus for learning, socializing, and growing.

Ready or Not?

I do recognize that some families whose students are enrolled in the Phase-in (a.k.a. Hybrid) model are not yet ready for their students to come back to campus even part time. 

We are developing provision for these students, despite its many challenges. Schools sent a notice last week telling parents how to let us know if they are “not ready” to return in Phase 2 by submitting a form. The deadline to respond with the form is 12 noon on Fri., March 5th. If you have not seen the notice, please check your email, including the spam folder, for the information.

Our system, with its staffing and resource constraints, is not designed to accommodate a mid-year “re-enrollment” option that educating this third group of students would require. We need to know the numbers of students to expect, so we can determine how to provide instruction to those who are yet not ready to return to campus for their in-person instruction schedule. 

The instruction provided for this “not ready” group will be compliant with the instructional requirements of Senate Bill 98.

Bringing as many students to in-person learning as is safely possible is the intent of the legislators and has been our focus from the beginning. We will do so while being consistent with our stakeholder agreements. 

We are excited about finally having the opportunity to implement Phase 2 of our plan.

* Your child’s school has sent detailed information to you. If you wish to review any of the information, please refer to your school’s website for specific dates and schedules.  Also, visit our COVID-19 resources web page to view district and school reopening plans.

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

On Feb. 23rd, about 875 people attended the District’s virtual community meeting on our transition to Phase 2 “hybrid” instructional model. The Superintendent reviewed the conditions, planning and decisions that have happened from the spring of 2020 until now. She also reminded the community of what the “hybrid” model will look like when we transition to Phase 2. 

In order to obtain community views and input, groups of participants were moved to breakout rooms to voice their perceptions about the opportunities and barriers of moving to Phase 2.  They were also asked to share additional considerations for the district.

Facilitators collected the verbal and “chat box” input. District leaders and the District’s Data Analyst reviewed all 1,493 comments from participants to identify the following dominant themes.  

Opportunities

The primary feedback under this category was that our families see this as an opportunity for students to reconnect with peers and to improve their social-emotional well being. Additionally, they look forward to students receiving in-person instruction and connecting with their teachers in person. 

Barriers

Scheduling was a concern.  Balancing the phase-in schedule with home obligations and routines proves difficult for many. There was also concern regarding the impact to instruction that the shift to the hybrid model may have. 

Other Considerations

Additional considerations included concerns about health risks, a desire to ensure fidelity to the health and safety protocols, and a desire to provide an option for families not ready to return. 

Responding to the Feedback

As we consider the opportunities of some in-person instruction, we will be intentional in providing social-emotional support and transitioning students back to the schedule and flow of the classroom, particularly in light of the safety protocols. We have already seen in our Expanded Learning program the joy our students have when playing and interacting with their peers, masks and all.   

The scheduling challenges noted in the barriers feedback is more difficult for us to resolve as the current 6-foot distancing requirements prevent us from bringing all students back into their classrooms at one time.  We have purchased one-hundred-twenty 10x20 canvas awnings to allow school sites to leverage outdoor learning as well, but that would not allow for the entire school returning at this point.  Additionally, the reason Phase 2 day ends before lunch was: (1) to acclimate students and staff to the safety protocols before introducing lunch, as eating has been noted as one of the more challenging safety components. As we move into better weather, being able to eat outside in distanced cohorts is less of a concern than indoor eating; and (2) teachers will need time to plan for both the in-person and the asynchronous groups.  

We acknowledged that our original Phase 3 plan is currently not possible due to the distancing requirements, so the reopening committee will iterate on learnings from our Phase 2 transition to inform our move to Phase 3, which will provide increased in-person learning.  

As for the considerations, we will be diligent with adhering to our safety protocols and procedures. Also, we sent out information to all families that are scheduled for the Phased-in model to let us know if they were not ready to send their students back for in-person instruction. As we gather those numbers, we will determine how to provide continued learning for those students who will not be coming to campus on their scheduled in-person days. We plan to leave the students in their assigned cohort groups to retain the relationships they have with their classmates and their teachers. Doing so will allow students who are not ready now to be able to return if they are ready when we transition to Phase 3.  

The transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is already extremely taxing to our system, and however we determine to support those students not yet ready must be able to be accomplished within the confines of existing staff and resources.  

It is important to remember that the form for parents to indicate “not ready” closes at 12 noon this Friday, March 5th. Parents who choose not to send their child to in-person learning will receive information from their school about what their child will be doing and learning during their cohort’s in-person time.

The Superintendent will be including more details about the community feedback in her regularly scheduled Reopening Update to the Governing Board next week.

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
Students will begin the new 2021-22 school year on Thur. August 19, 2021
Students will end the school year on June 10, 2022.
To download the 2021-22 calendar as a PDF, click here.
"No School" dates will be added to our online calendar.
Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

Campbell Union School District is accepting applications to fill a vacant seat on its Citizens Bond and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee. 

Campbell Union School District educates students in preschool through eighth grade from the communities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Saratoga.  The bond funds from help to repair and improve the district’s 12 elementary and middle schools. Parcel tax funds support instructional programs that directly benefit students.

The school district Governing Board appoints an independent citizens committee to oversee the expenditures and uses of bond and parcel tax revenues, and report findings to the public.  The Citizens Oversight Committee reviews school district spending and ensures that bond and parcel tax revenues are spent only for the purpose set before the voters.

Oversight Committee members represent various parts of the community: businesses, senior citizens, taxpayer organizations, and parents of students enrolled in the District.   These members serve for a term of two years without compensation and for no more than three consecutive terms.  (Education Code Section 15282(a))

Applications are available by contacting Christina Tran, Campbell Union School District, ctran [at] campbellusd.org or 408-364-4200 ext. 6215.